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Old 02-27-2012, 09:05 PM   #1
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Thinking of buying my first firearm- opinions?

Hey guys,

I have been reading a lot of threads on this site, and speaking with friends/ co-workers who are gun owners and have decided I am going to purchase my first handgun. It's mostly to put some holes in paper with the guys, but also for home defense .

I live in a really good area, and don't feel threatened, but my whole life I have wondered "what if?". I have never been robbed or anything like that, and obviously hope I never am in the future.

I will NOT be carrying, as I live in CA and have no desire to do so.

I like to think of myself as a mature, intelligent, adult with a good amount of common sense.

My girlfriend will also be shooting with me from time to time.

I have no children, (it's just me and my gf)

I need some opinions from the experts here on tw.

I was thinking of the Springfield xd 9mm, do you guys think this is a good starter gun?

What is a good reputable brand for 9mm ammo? What is the difference on the "grain"?

I have been reading as much as I can on gun safety, in preparation for my handgun safety certificate but I want to be as educated as possible before I make my purchase- does anyone know of any online resources? I've searched " first time gun owner" etc. But most sites want to give you advice on what gun to buy.

Last but not least, is there any rules/ etiquette for the shooting range? I've only been one time about 10 years ago. I will be doing a first time class at the local range before I purchase, but I do not want to make any range faux pas.

Thanks for reading, your opinions are appreciated!
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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Find a place that rents different handguns, or a friend that owns many, shoot as many as possible and find one that fits your hand,

Also find a caliber that you like, I would probably advise starting with a 9mm as price so you can shoot more, and its still a full size round.

I personally dont really like the springfields, but its like a nissan vs a toyota, they are both good, i recomend a glock for a starter, But some will say nay to that,

Also another option for starting out with is a basic .22 rimfire, VERY cheap to fire, and easy to learn the ropes on. I like my walther p22 but it does have problems , but they are cheap and easy to use, my front sight fell off the last time i went shooting. Other expensive and quality options are the ruger variants.

so to sum up i would recomend a glock 17 or glock 19 whichever fits your hand, or a walther p22 or ruger .22
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fractured View Post
Hey guys,

I have been reading a lot of threads on this site, and speaking with friends/ co-workers who are gun owners and have decided I am going to purchase my first handgun. It's mostly to put some holes in paper with the guys, but also for home defense .

I live in a really good area, and don't feel threatened, but my whole life I have wondered "what if?". I have never been robbed or anything like that, and obviously hope I never am in the future.

I will NOT be carrying, as I live in CA and have no desire to do so.

I like to think of myself as a mature, intelligent, adult with a good amount of common sense.

My girlfriend will also be shooting with me from time to time.

I have no children, (it's just me and my gf)

I need some opinions from the experts here on tw.

I was thinking of the Springfield xd 9mm, do you guys think this is a good starter gun?

What is a good reputable brand for 9mm ammo? What is the difference on the "grain"?

I have been reading as much as I can on gun safety, in preparation for my handgun safety certificate but I want to be as educated as possible before I make my purchase- does anyone know of any online resources? I've searched " first time gun owner" etc. But most sites want to give you advice on what gun to buy.

Last but not least, is there any rules/ etiquette for the shooting range? I've only been one time about 10 years ago. I will be doing a first time class at the local range before I purchase, but I do not want to make any range faux pas.

Thanks for reading, your opinions are appreciated!
i always recommend this for newbies to get spun up on all kinds of gun stuff, ..it has many free short videos on topics from ammo, to sighting in a rifle, to self defense.. go here and click on "video library", you could spend all day there..
www.guntalk.tv

as for range etiquitte, ..first of all remember - safety is priority #1, no matter if at home, or at the range... know the "4 rules of gun safety", and be sure to remind others... always keep barrels pointed downrange, ...never transport firearms "loaded" (probably illegal in CA), always safety check (clear) a firearm when retrieving it from the transport case/box/etc, and same before you pack it back in to go home... do so w/ barrel pointed downrange of course... finger off trigger until you are sighted and ready to fire...

if you see something "unsafe" going on at a range, ..you may say something to the offender, ..or just leave the area, or leave the range, but be sure to tell an RSO (range safety officer).. ranges have different "rules", depending on the ownership, and whether it's an outdoor range where you must adhere to "hot" and "cold" rules for checking targets, vs. an indoor range w/ automatic target retreival systems... go where you feel most comfortable, and where good safety practices are enforced..
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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where in Norcal are you first?
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:24 PM   #5
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where in Norcal are you first?
Bay area. Peninsula.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wileyC View Post
i always recommend this for newbies to get spun up on all kinds of gun stuff, ..it has many free short videos on topics from ammo, to sighting in a rifle, to self defense.. go here and click on "video library", you could spend all day there..
www.guntalk.tv

as for range etiquitte, ..first of all remember - safety is priority #1, no matter if at home, or at the range... know the "4 rules of gun safety", and be sure to remind others... always keep barrels pointed downrange, ...never transport firearms "loaded" (probably illegal in CA), always safety check (clear) a firearm when retrieving it from the transport case/box/etc, and same before you pack it back in to go home... do so w/ barrel pointed downrange of course... finger off trigger until you are sighted and ready to fire...

if you see something "unsafe" going on at a range, ..you may say something to the offender, ..or just leave the area, or leave the range, but be sure to tell an RSO (range safety officer).. ranges have different "rules", depending on the ownership, and whether it's an outdoor range where you must adhere to "hot" and "cold" rules for checking targets, vs. an indoor range w/ automatic target retreival systems... go where you feel most comfortable, and where good safety practices are enforced..
Good post. Thanks for your input, i will check that out when i can. + rep for you when i am not on my iphone!
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fractured View Post
Good post. Thanks for your input, i will check that out when i can. + rep for you when i am not on my iphone!
sure anytime! also keep in mind that you'll get a million and one opinions on forums about "which handgun is best", ..etc., that may help narrow the field for you, but the more you can get your hands on some different models yourself to get the fit/feel, the better for you... w/ handguns especially, the fit and function are very important and largely dependant on personal preferences and ergonomics
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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GLOCKS ARE BADASS!
40SW IS WHAT THE COPS USE!
There, we got that out of the way...now on to something helpful.
I agree that a 22lr is ALWAYS the best place to start and also hone skills.
Cheap and low recoil.
You can move up to more power later.
Blast and recoil will screw you up in a hurry with the more powerful rounds.
9mm XD is a decent choice for sport and protection.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:23 AM   #9
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Thanks again for the help guys. Its really helpful.

I have held a few guns, including the glock 17 and 19, and the xd fit my hand the best. At first i thought the palm saftey was weird, but after holding it i didnt even notice it.

For my first gun, i am going to stick with a 9mm to keep costs down, even though i want a .40 and 45
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:34 AM   #10
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bought a sig pro p2022 9mm for 400bucks a week ago, world wide it's a popular leo carry weapon, i wanted a p226 but 700-1200 price tag, difference is a polymer frame i.e. like a glock. anyways it's a good gun, already 1500rounds in it and accurate
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractured View Post
Thanks again for the help guys. Its really helpful.

I have held a few guns, including the glock 17 and 19, and the xd fit my hand the best. At first i thought the palm saftey was weird, but after holding it i didnt even notice it.

For my first gun, i am going to stick with a 9mm to keep costs down, even though i want a .40 and 45
You could buy a 9mm 1911 (search STI Spartan) and add a 22lr slide and really have something fun and practical.
Great for the range and practice and will definitely work for defense too.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by thinkingman View Post
You could buy a 9mm 1911 (search STI Spartan) and add a 22lr slide and really have something fun and practical.
Great for the range and practice and will definitely work for defense too.
I looked into that. While its an excellent option (plus the 1911s are awesome) its quite a bit more upfront. Because this is already a almost 700.00 investment already, i will probably start with the xd or g17.

What type of 9mm rounds do you suggest i start with.

Any range gear i should pick up?
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Fractured View Post
I looked into that. While its an excellent option (plus the 1911s are awesome) its quite a bit more upfront. Because this is already a almost 700.00 investment already, i will probably start with the xd or g17.

What type of 9mm rounds do you suggest i start with.

Any range gear i should pick up?
for range/target/training i just get a bunch of winchester "white box" or the federal, in 115gr ball ammo, from walmart - about the best price you'll find, unless you order like bulk 1000 rounds online... and these are pretty reliable (P.S. i've had problems w/ remington UMC, so i avoid it but could be a finicky gun..)

for gear:
-i'd recommend picking up some targets - i like "shoot-n-c" brand because they have sticky backing and shots are accentuated in bright orange making it easy to see where you hit.. ..
- also make sure you have eyes and ears, and maybe binoculars, a spotting scope for rifle shooting, (may come in handy for an outdoor range)
- a bore snake (for your bore, 9mm?)
- CLP/Hoppes/etc,
- and some rags or handi-wipes..

you take this stuff and put together a "range bag" that you just pick up and take each trip..
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #14
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not sure if you have Academy Sports, but they have 100 winchester 9mm 115grain for 21.99 , and so far everytime i open it it has actually 103-106 bullets
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wileyC View Post
for range/target/training i just get a bunch of winchester "white box" or the federal, in 115gr ball ammo, from walmart - about the best price you'll find, unless you order like bulk 1000 rounds online... and these are pretty reliable (P.S. i've had problems w/ remington UMC, so i avoid it but could be a finicky gun..)

for gear:
-i'd recommend picking up some targets - i like "shoot-n-c" brand because they have sticky backing and shots are accentuated in bright orange making it easy to see where you hit.. ..
- also make sure you have eyes and ears, and maybe binoculars, a spotting scope for rifle shooting, (may come in handy for an outdoor range)
- a bore snake (for your bore, 9mm?)
- CLP/Hoppes/etc,
- and some rags or handi-wipes..

you take this stuff and put together a "range bag" that you just pick up and take each trip..
Another great post.

Please clarify what clp and hoppes are.

Any hearing protection recomendations?
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:42 PM   #16
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clp and hoppes are used to clean guns... i normally use clp break free and then i lube my gun with dupont multi purpose with teflon instead of traditional oil


you can find all these products locally
i normally just use cheap orange foam ear plugs...but ear muffs are better even ear plugs and then muffs on top of that
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Fractured View Post
Another great post.

Please clarify what clp and hoppes are.

Any hearing protection recomendations?
+1 to what rmodel said... clp = clean/lube/protectant, ...which is a brand put out by breakfree... hoppes is kinda a well known, been around long time, makes bore cleaners and lubricants (hoppes#9 is a copper solvent, and various oils)... this is the kinda stuff you'll use to clean the firearm after you get back from the range, but it's good to have at the range if you are going to shoot alot and want to touch up the lube or field strip and clean.. a bore snake makes this easy at the range..

ears on a budget, like rmodel said, you can't beat the orange foam plugs, ..their like .99 and have like 30+dB attenuation, which is better than most fixed headgear... you can also get custom molded plugs for like $100, ...and fixed headgear is usually in between the aforementioned.. electronic headgear can be very useful because it allows you to hear conversations while still attenuating harmful gunshot sound...
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aznutx View Post
not sure if you have Academy Sports, but they have 100 winchester 9mm 115grain for 21.99 , and so far everytime i open it it has actually 103-106 bullets
How is that even possible? The foam trays hold 50 each, rows are 5x10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractured View Post
I looked into that. While its an excellent option (plus the 1911s are awesome) its quite a bit more upfront. Because this is already a almost 700.00 investment already, i will probably start with the xd or g17.

What type of 9mm rounds do you suggest i start with.

Any range gear i should pick up?
Or look into a rock island 1911 9mm I know a few people that swears by rock island. I am actually thinking of picking one up. Or another 1911 in .45
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wileyC View Post
+1 to what rmodel said... clp = clean/lube/protectant, ...which is a brand put out by breakfree... hoppes is kinda a well known, been around long time, makes bore cleaners and lubricants (hoppes#9 is a copper solvent, and various oils)... this is the kinda stuff you'll use to clean the firearm after you get back from the range, but it's good to have at the range if you are going to shoot alot and want to touch up the lube or field strip and clean.. a bore snake makes this easy at the range..

ears on a budget, like rmodel said, you can't beat the orange foam plugs, ..their like .99 and have like 30+dB attenuation, which is better than most fixed headgear... you can also get custom molded plugs for like $100, ...and fixed headgear is usually in between the aforementioned.. electronic headgear can be very useful because it allows you to hear conversations while still attenuating harmful gunshot sound...
Head gear wise. I usually put in those orange plugs then wear ear muff on top. Don't want to damage my hearing at the age of 21
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #20
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Joined: Apr 2008, #5971
Location: redmond WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractured View Post
I looked into that. While its an excellent option (plus the 1911s are awesome) its quite a bit more upfront. Because this is already a almost 700.00 investment already, i will probably start with the xd or g17.

What type of 9mm rounds do you suggest i start with.

Any range gear i should pick up?
Please don't tell me you'd spend $700 on a Glock!

Those things are a dime a dozen on the secondary market.

Every 21yr old buys a Glock 'BECAUSE THERE(sic) BADASS!...COD tells them that's the coolest thing in the world next to an AR15 festooned with tacrails and a collapsible buttstock and a foregrip....then eventually finds out there are much better choices out there depending on use....thus, the secondary market is FULL of Glocks.
If you have to have one, buy used.
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